Paint protection film is a modern marvel. It’s a thin but exceptionally durable polymer or polyurethane film that is the ultimate layer of protection. Not only does it keep your ride’s clear coat protected against chemicals, UV exposure, acid rain and road debris, but if the vehicle’s paint is impacted by road debris, it can save you thousands of dollars in autobody repair.
There is a lot of information on the interwebs about car paint protection film. Some of it is accurate, and others are pure, 100 percent, grade A BS. Search up ceramic coating and you’ll get similar misleading information. So, let’s explore the truth about paint protection film.
In this article – we’ll weed through the myths, rumors, and flat our false information out there, to provide a definitive guide about paint protection film. Does it really protect from light scratches? Can PPF actually self-heal?
We’ll also introduce you to Kavaca instant healing paint protection film – the most advanced PPF on the market today. Additionally, we’ll explain why it makes sense to apply a professional grade ceramic coat on top of that PPF – to create the Ultimate Shield of protection. If you’d like to compare PPF vs ceramic coating, we’ve got a great article you can review after reading this one.
In order to fully appreciate the power of paint protection film, it’s important to explore it’s history. Like many of today’s modern achievements, PPF was developed to solve a problem. During the Vietnam War, the United States Department of Defense was having trouble with rotor blades on several of their helicopters being damaged by shrapnel, trees, and other debris.
The folks at 3M were tasked to create a protective layer that was lightweight, yet incredibly strong. The solution was called helicopter tape or a custom urethane film that was designed for function – not style.
Today’s PPF is far cry from 3M’s helicopter tape. It’s thermoplastic urethane that is transparent, can be colored, even custom textured to enhance gloss or matte paint jobs. It is a clear paint protection film that can be purchased in different grades, thickness, and is applied by highly trained professionals with precision accuracy.
There are a lot of coating for cars on the market today. But tpu car paint protection film is arguably the best and most-effective solution. The 3M Corporation is the Godfather of PPF. As explained above, its primary application was to apply a tint to protect lightning-fast spinning helicopter rotor blades from being damaged. Today, more than a dozen different types, brand names, and designs are offered to car enthusiasts.
You’ve probably heard of some of the leading brands including our own Kavaca, 3M Paint Protection Film Pro Series, Llumar, Suntek, and Xpel film. However, it’s commonly misunderstood that the brand of PPF is associated with the type of product.
While sometimes this is the case, the brand is not always related to the material or its proprietary properties. This is one of the myths or misleading PPF truths that can confuse car owners. Some are applied as full wraps while others are partial hood. There are several that offer limited warranties and some that can back up their product with a 10-year warranty.
Arguably the most popular ‘name’ in the paint protection films market is clear bra. This is a dual-purpose term – kind of like calling a soda pop a “Coke” – or sealable plastic bags “Zip-Lock”. Clear Bra is a brand name for a specific type of protective film. But, it’s also a specific brand as well.
It’s applied to the front end of the vehicle, covering the front bumper, car’s paint, grille, headlights, splitter, and even the front portion of the hood and front fenders. The term “bra” is used to describe the location of the application.
For a PPF to protect, it’s got to be bonded to a surface. This becomes possible when that surface is clean, free of debris, and any damage. However, since a paint protection film is transparent, the condition of the paint or surface underneath makes a huge difference in the brilliance of the finished product.
What is a Decontamination Car Wash? A decontaminating car wash is typically the first step of PPF prep. It involves the use of a wax-stripping car shampoo that acts as a detergent, which breaks down the oils in wax, factory paint sealant, and allows them to be washed away.
If you have a ceramic coating applied to your entire vehicle, the professional detailer that installs clear bra film will simply complete a maintenance car wash. If there are minor scratches due to rock chips – or if you have an older paint job, the auto detailing company might want to repair those issues in the next step.
What is Paint Correction? Once the surface has been cleaned and stripped of initial debris, the installer will inspect the condition of the paint. If it is faded, aged, has spider-webbing or swirl marks, or shows signs of damage, the installer will recommend paint correction to the client.